When building your email marketing list it’s always tempting to take short cuts, hey running a business takes a lot of time, we get that. But, using an email opt-in form to help grow your list is a no-brainer; for your list and your biz. But it raises the question: Should I require double opt-in or single? There are benefits to both, of course, so let’s examine the facts.

Single opt-in – This option is preferred by many because it removes barriers to allow folks to sign-up and grow your list quickly. To single opt-in, the person just enters their email address and they are added to your list your list. Growing your list is faster, you don’t have to wait for someone to confirm, and you don’t have to deal with those who haven’t. The drawback with single opt-in is that you may end up with a list that has some junk in it. Since email addresses aren’t verified, there’s bound to be some typos that get through, and the potential for spammy or bad addresses increases. Also, without email verification someone could be added to your list without their consent, and you get spam complaints. Single opt-in lists tends to have higher bounce and unsubscribe rates, as well as higher spam complaints. Proceed with caution.

Double opt-in – This option provides you a more accurate list because when the person signs up for your list, they must verify their email address twice, once at sign up and once via a link sent to their email address. This helps to keep your list clean, bounces are lower since typos are usually caught, and keeps SPAM complaints lower since you know these folks want to hear from you.  Yes, it may take a bit more time and effort to grow your list, but it will be more accurate. And, if you’ve got some stragglers, who haven’t finished the double opt-in process, you can send them a reminder email with a link to verify. Because you know your subscribers have asked to be on your list, you should have better engagement when you mail to a double opt-in list, including opens and clicks. Win!

How do you build your email list? Do you roll with single or double opt-in. Tell us why in the comments.

© 2013, Contributing Author. All rights reserved.

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